Montgomery Council candidates detail progress in chase for campaign contributions

The first campaign contribution reports from Montgomery County Council candidates are trickling in to the Maryland State Board of Elections ahead of Wednesday evening’s filing deadline, with two at-large incumbents showing six-figure bank accounts.

Council member George Leventhal (D-At-Large), reported $104,518 in donations and a total of $117,467 cash on hand. Council member Hans Riemer (D-At-Large) showed $72,787 in donations and a total balance of $122,372.

Upcounty activist Beth Daly, running for one of the council’s four at-large seats, reported $98,640 in cash on hand. More than half of that came in the form of personal loans, including $45,000 Daly borrowed from herself on Jan. 7. The other announced at-large candidate, Vivian Malloy, reported contributions of $16,300 and $9,957.80 in cash.

Two district council members, so far running unopposed, reported minimal activity. Roger Berliner (D-Potomac-Bethesda) filed just $200 in donations and $52,368.60 in cash on hand. Nancy Navarro (D-Midcounty) showed $13,375 in contributions and a total balance of $16,707.

As is the case historically, real estate and development interests gave generously to the incumbents. Leventhal, who sits on the Planning, Housing and Economic Development Committee, received $2,500 from Pulte Group, currently pushing for council approval of a residential development in Clarksburg. Riemer got $1,000 from Barbara Sears, an attorney from Linowes and Blocher who has represented Johns Hopkins, Foulger-Pratt, Federal Realty Investment Trust and EYA on county business.

Leventhal hired a consultant to help him raise money. His filing shows payments totaling $25,000 since last February to Arlington fundraiser Steve Hurvitz. Riemer paid $3,500 to Advocacy Data, a voter targeting firm.

Bill Turque, who covers Montgomery County government and politics, has spent more than thirty years as a reporter and editor for The Washington Post, Newsweek, the Dallas Times Herald and The Kansas City Star.
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